July 13, 2003 02:44pm
Hefner set for Playboy's 50th Anniversary
(LOS ANGELES, CA) -- Hugh Hefner is gearing up to celebrate the 50th anniversary of his magazine Playboy. And Hefner, 77, has no plans to retire any time soon.
"I'm the luckiest guy on the planet. What I'm doing keeps me young," he said. "I'll be doing it as long as I can. My mother lived to be 101 and was very vital when she passed away."
Hefner borrowed $600 to launch Playboy in 1953 with Marilyn Monroe as the first pinup.
Fifty years later, the magazine has become an international success. A&E will broadcast a special marking the anniversary this fall.
"I was trying to give sex a good name," Hefner told the Television Critics Association summer gathering last week. "Because sex had always been both legally and socially and politically outside the boundaries of what was acceptable in society."
"I tried to create a magazine and a lifestyle around it that incorporated sex as a natural, normal part of life, including recreational sex," he said.
Hefner said Playboy-brand merchandise is even sold at more than 300 stores in China, where the magazine is banned.